Despite constant media attention and social platforms that drive preoccupation with the political sphere in the US, the next generation’s interest in vocational engagement in civic affairs is waning. We need organizations to create vision and pathways for character-driven, service-oriented leaders who can contribute directly to the renewal of the public square, ensuring that we are not left primarily with candidates and leaders only interested in their own power and self-interest. The more that citizens feel they contribute to civic outcomes for others’ interests as well as their own, the healthier our society will be.
We're interested in ventures using technology platforms to engage the next generation, creative endeavors that de-escalate partisan warfare, and formation-driven, community-based approaches that put citizens at the center of the political process rather than being mere voting blocs. Further, there are opportunities for organizations to disrupt major process flaws in the political architecture, such as campaign finance reform and corporate-industrial subsidies.
In today’s commercially-driven world people are more likely to be seen and referred to as 'consumers' than anything else. Instead of being met with resistance, this shift has often meant that individuals have formed their identity through a composite of brands, and product purchasing can be guided more by the desire to make a statement about one’s identity and values than strict utility. As a result, the lines between social movement, capitalism, and community are increasingly blurry (see: Nike, Whole Foods, and Patagonia).
Given this reality (which is with us for both better and worse), we’d like to support entrepreneurs with a vision for building brands with a counter-culturally virtuous and optimistic view of the world, spreading hope and beauty, eliminating stigma, and most fundamentally, redirecting our identity away from materialistic consumption and toward lasting contentment.